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#330daysofbiking Day 87: Clarksville express

bringing home the bike

Today’s good news: driving to Clarksville to bring Mason home from APSU.  Today’s not-so-good news: driving to Clarksville (in holiday weekend traffic).

APSU Governor’s School is officially over, Mason really enjoyed his past month of working with the  Gov School kids, and I am so happy to have my riding buddy back home. 😀 Got to spend the day in the car, which never thrills me – but especially tedious on a traffic-filled Friday of a long holiday weekend.  Fortunately, Mark came up with an alternate route for the return trip, allowing us to bypass the worst of Nashville and Chattanooga traffic, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  Just glad to be home; glad to have all of my boys home  at the same time.

outside the dorm - all the "essentials" ready to head home

I managed to sneak in a quick ride this morning on the Xtracycle before heading off to Clarksville.  Kind of cloudy and overcast, and nothing great photo-wise.  If the photos of the past few days have all seemed rather similar, it’s because I’ve decided to conduct my own sort of “lens trial” – trying to shoot with only one lens for the entire week, figuring out sweet spots, and how I can work best with it.  So this week’s photos have been brought to you by my sweet little 50mm f1.8 – obviously, I like it best wide open and fast, shallow DOF.  Thanks for putting up with my experimenting.

Tomorrow begins Le Tour … and the month of excitement, drama and suspense!  And lots of cool bicycles. 😀  Allez, allez!

this morning's ride; I like to think of my X as my version of a time trial bike ... (as in: I take my sweet time - lol)

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#330daysofbiking Day 68: chivalry

at the pool

Decided to take advantage of the rainless morning; rode to the pool for a swim, ran a few errands, stopped for a few groceries on the way home.  And in the afternoon it rained.  Hah!

I suppose this will sound sexist, but I really believe that a lot of drivers are more courteous to me – as a woman on a bike – than they typically are to most males.  The route to the pool is one of my least-fun rides, traffic-wise – an interstate crossing, entrances to two major shopping centers, a four-lane commercial-zone slog.  Lots of trucks.  But I have to say I am grateful to all of the people who give me 3 feet (or often more) in passing, or slow down and wait until they can safely do so.  Not everyone is always alert and courteous, but mostly I have remarkably few problems.

When I rode up to the bike rack at the Y, someone stopped me to tell me they had seen me riding before, and had passed me on my way over today.  He said he had noticed me as I was stopped at one of the intersections, and went on to say something like, “Well, so many of the people on bicycles around here pay no attention to the lights; you seem to know what you’re doing out there, and that’s good”.  I didn’t (and won’t) comment on how accurate or inaccurate he might be about other cyclists, but I thought it was a significant thing to hear from a driver – as if he was saying, “If you behave like traffic, I will treat you like traffic.” Maybe the “female factor” played into it as well – or not?  Chivalry is not dead?  Either way, I think it is an important statement of our responsibility to ride lawfully and courteously as well.

(And if that doesn’t work, try wearing a skirt….!  ;-))

groceries ... someday, maybe they'll give me a bike rack

#330daysofbiking Day 54: eight hours in a car

traffic ... circles

I hope there is no one checking the official rule-book, because I’m not entirely sure today’s ride would even count as being valid.  I rode Mason’s bike.  Around a parking lot, to his dorm.  Period.  So sue me.  I did, in fact, ride a bike today.

Spent the day driving to and from Clarksville, in the rain, in Memorial Day weekend traffic – taking Mason back to APSU for his 5-week summer job mentoring at Governor’s School.  Maybe it was just the long day in the car, or the traffic … or just the fact that I will be missing our summer rides together for the next few weeks.  But I am feeling a bit cantankerous at the moment.  I am , of course, so happy that he has this great opportunity, and am sure that after a good night’s sleep I will feel more normal (whatever that is?).

But until he returns in July, I shall be missing his eagerness to be out riding – even when I drag him with me through the rain and in the dark.  Even when I know I am holding him back, yet he is kind enough to let me decide the pace.  I will miss his silly comments, his teasing, the way he shakes his head and always laughs at my crazy ideas.  His patience when I make him stop so that I can take photos.  So Mason, if you should read this … I hope you know.  Miss you, babe – have fun!

Mason's summer room-mate ... back in the dorm (APSU)

tempest